Census recruits in West Yorkshire

An army is being recruited to collect facts and figures from across Leeds and the rest of West Yorkshire in 2011.

And bosses at the Office for National Statistics, who want thousands of people to help with next year's census, say the statistics they put together can provide a fascinating festive glimpse of what Christmas was like for the region's families hundreds of years ago.

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Official census stats show that the average household size in Yorkshire in 1801 was five, falling to 2.4 in 2001 – meaning twice as many Christmas presents had to be bought.

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And in 1801 there were just two million households in England and Wales rising to a staggering 26 million in 2010.

Back in the 19th Century, census collectors, known as "overseers of the poor", knocked on doors to gather the information in person.

And they uncovered some seriously seasonal names over the past 200 years, including Winter Day, Winter Frost and Winter White.

And in the 1901 census, there were even 639 people with the first name Christmas.

On March 27 2011, homes will have census questionnaires arriving on their doorsteps.

And for the first time people will be to complete their census forms online as a new computorised system has been set up.

In a bid to get all the stats together, the Office for National Statistics is employing 35,000 people to help carry out the 2011 census.

There are a range of full and part time roles available with flexible hours ranging from 15 to 37 hours a week.

Visit: www.censusjobs.co.uk to apply for one of these roles.

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